Armagh Plantations, Ballynemony and Dewcorran Manors, 1622

(1) The Manors of Dewcorran (1,500 acres) and Ballynemony (1,000 acres)

Dewcorran granted to John Brownlow May 28, 1610, and Ballynemony to William, his son, June 18 of same year. Carew in his report of 1611 states that both were then resident and dwelling in an Irish house, that they had brought over 6 carpenters, 1 mason, a tailor and workmen. One freeholder and 6 tenants had been settled and preparations made for the building of 2 bawns-some muskets and arms in readiness.

According to Pynnar’s Survey of 1619 bawns had been erected on both proportions, that at Dewcorran having within it a fair house of stone and brick, the bawn was, however, constructed of timber and earth but stone and lime were in readiness to build the usual walled enclosure. At Ballynemony there was a good strong house within an island. At this date “a fair town” had arisen on Dewcorran consisting of 42 houses all inhabited by English families, the streets “all paved clean through,” 2 watermills and 1 windmill-all for corn, 57 families “with divers under them” able to make 100 men with arms and “not one Irish family upon the land “- statements open to grave doubt.

The survey of 1622 gives particulars and measurements of the bawn on Dewcorran “near adjoining which he had made a good village of 40 houses inhabited with English tenants on both sides the streete in which a good windmill stands. “As regards Ballynemony nothing new transpires other than that the number of armed men had increased to 160 and 24 Irish families were resident.

William Brownlow was knighted in 1622, served as High Sheriff of the County in the following year, and represented Armagh in the old Irish House of Commons in 1639. He died January 20, 1660. By his wife Elinor O’Dogherty (daughter of John O’Dogherty of Derry and great-granddaughter of Sir John Oge O’Dogherty, Lord of Inishowen) he had issue three daughters, of whom the eldest. Lettice Brownlow, married firstly Patrick Chamberlain of Nizelrath. Co. Louth, member of an old Anglo-Norman family established in that county previous to 1312. By this marriage she had with other issue an eldest son Arthur Chamberlain born 1645, who assumed the name of Brownlow as directed by the will of his maternal grandfather.

Arthur Brownlow alias Chamberlain was High Sheriff of the county in 1679 and 1686 and Member of Parliament from 1692 until his death in 1710. He was a man of cultured tastes and took a deep personal interest in the management of the property especially in the welfare and housing of his tenants. His chief claim to our admiration, however, lies in the fact that he was the saviour of the Book of Armagh, that priceless treasure of the Primatial See and earliest of our Irish manuscripts that can with absolute certainty be dated. He was succeeded in the estate by his eldest son William, High Sheriff 1711 who followed his father in the representation of the county, retaining the seat until he died in 1739, leaving a son William (High Sheriff 1750, M.P. for the county 1753-1794) whose second son, Charles Brownlow, was the father of Charles Brownlow, M.P., created Baron Lurgan of Lurgan, ancestor of the present Lord Lurgan.(1) The estate was considerably enlarged in the early 18th century by the purchase of additional lands including the Manor of Richmount, Co. Armagh,(2) in 1706. The family also possessed property in Counties Louth and Monaghan.

(1) For detailed information on the Brownlow, Chamberlain, and allied families see L.A.J. Vol. x. pp. 318-326 and Vol. XI, pp. 173-185.
(2)See (6) Manor of Aghivillan and Brochus.

from “County Armagh In 1622 A Plantation Survey”
Edited byT. G. F. PATERSON, M.A., M.R.I.A. published in Seanchás Ardmhaca

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